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Dataset of Labor Rights Violations

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Dataset of Labor Rights Violations

Summary: The Dataset of Labor Rights Violations provides annual observations for 90 developing nations for 1985-2002. The dataset includes Labor Rights Indicator (LRI) that measures the level of collective labor rights provision and observation for each country-year.

Main Points: The LRI focuses on the rights of workers to act collectively – to form unions, to bargain collectively, and to strike – rather than on individual labor rights or working conditions. The coding of this variable is based on the template developed by David Kucera. The assessments of violations of collective labor rights are drawn from three sources (as are Kucera’s):

·        the U.S. State Department annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices;

·        reports from the International Labor Organization’s Committee of Experts on the Applications of Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR) and the Committee on Freedom of Association (CFA);

·        the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights.

Kucera’s template records thirty-seven types of violations of labor rights, in six categories:

·        freedom of association and collective bargaining-related liberties;

·        the right to establish and join worker and union organizations;

·        other union activities;

·        the right to bargain collectively;

·        the right to strike;

·        rights in export processing zones.

In each of these broad categories, specific violations include the absence of legal rights, limitations on legal rights, and the violations of legal rights by government agents or employers. On the basis of expert assessments, Kucera’s methodology assigns a weighting to each violation, with more serious violations (e.g. general prohibitions on unions) weighted more heavily than others (e.g. a requirement of previous authorization in order for a union to join a confederation of unions).

When a country displays a violation of labor rights for one of the 37 dimensions listed in the template below, a score of “1” is assigned for that category and year. If no violation is reported for a given category and year, a score of zero is assigned. Then these scores are multiplied by the weighting for each category; the sum of these category scores provides the annual measure of labor rights violations. If a violation is recorded more than once in a source, or in multiple sources, the maximum score per category remains one.

Labor Standards Coding Template

Freedom of association/collective bargaining related liberties

1. Murder or disappearance of union members or organizers – score 2

2. Other violence against union members or organizers – score 2

3. Arrest, detention, imprisonment, or forced exile for union membership or activities – score 2

4. Interference with union rights of assembly, demonstration, free opinion, free expression– sc. 2

5. Seizure or destruction of union premises or property, right to establish and join union and worker organizations – score 2

6. General prohibitions – score 10

7. General absence resulting from socio-economic breakdown – score 10

8. Previous authorization requirements – score 1.5

9. Employment conditional on non-membership in union – score 1.5

10. Dismissal or suspension for union membership or activities – score 1.5

11. Interference of employers (attempts to dominate unions) – score 1.5

12. Dissolution or suspension of union by administrative authority – score 2

13. Only workers’ committees and labor councils permitted – score 2

14. Only state-sponsored or other single unions permitted – score 1.5

15. Exclusion of tradable/industrial sectors from union membership – score 2

16. Exclusion of other sectors or workers from union membership – score 2

17. Other specific de facto problems or acts of prohibition – score 1.5

18. (No) Right to establish and join federations or confederations of unions – score 1.5

19. Previous authorization requirements regarding above row – score 1

20. (No) right to elect representatives in full freedom – score 1.5

21. (No) right to establish constitutions and rules – score 1.5

22. General prohibition of union/federation participation in political activities – score 1.5

23. (N) Union control of finances  – score 1.5

Right to collectively bargain

24. General prohibitions – score 10

25. Prior approval by authorities of collective agreements – score 1.5

26. Compulsory binding arbitration – score 1.5

27. Intervention of authorities – score 1.5

28. Scope of collective bargaining restricted by non-state employers – score 1.5

29. Exclusion of tradable/industrial sectors from right to collectively bargain – score 1.75

30. Exclusion of other sectors or workers from right to collectively bargain – score 1.75

31. Other specific de facto problems or acts of prohibition – score 1.5

Right to strike

32. General prohibitions – score 2

33. Previous authorization required by authorities – score 1.5

34. Exclusion of tradable/industrial sectors from right to strike – score 1.5

35. Exclusion of other sectors or workers from right to strike – score 1.5

36. Other specific de facto problems or acts of prohibition – score 1.5

Export processing zones (EPZ)

37. Restricted Rights in EPZs – score 2

Access to database:

Source: Layna Mosley and Saika Uno, “Racing to the Bottom or Climbing to the Top? Economic Globalization and Collective Labor Rights” Comparative Political Studies 2007 40: 923-948

Page Created By:  Madina Junussova. The content presented on this page is drawn directly from the source(s) cited above, and consists of direct quotations or close paraphrases. This material does not necessarily reflect the official view of the publishing organization.

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School of Public Policy and Governance